GREEN LIGHT TO HAPPINESS

Working with plants and the people you love makes it easy to help others, writes STEPHANIE AZZOPARDI

SISTER-IN-LAWS Katie Heane and Katy Bartlett say they are in the business of making people happy. The pair, who are the women behind greenery hire business Olive Green Plant and Prop, say they are having just as much fun themselves. Katie launched the business in 2014.
“My whole family are keen gardeners – my mum especially,” Katie says. “I’ve been collecting plants forever.”
The plant collection became so big that Katie had the idea to turn her passion into a business.
She says it was her mother who fostered her love for indoor plants, which is evident in the Olive Green collection.
The mother of two’s love of growing even transcended to her family, as she named her little girl Olive, now three, after her favourite type of tree. The business was subsequently named after her daughter.
Katy, who has a background in visual merchandising and interior design, joined the business about eight months ago. She was a perfect fit.
“Sometimes I feel like saying to the client, ‘isn’t she good?’ ” Katie laughs.


The business hires styled greenery out to weddings, but also supplies to corporate clients, including display homes, offices and libraries. The duo spend their time consulting with clients, making up proposals, doing fit-outs and fortnightly maintenance on plants with their long-term clients.
As well as providing a visual experience for clients, the women at Olive Green Plant and Prop aim to use their plant and design knowledge to enhance spaces in other ways. They have put together “power pots”, a pot including a mixture of up to five different plants that have strong air purifying qualities. The duo works to ensure that installations not only work for the client visually, but also for the plants.
“It’s about working with the environment, looking at the lighting and what the plant needs,” Katy says.
On the weekends, especially during weddings season, the pair is constantly on the go.
“Greenery is starting to be a bit more included in a bride’s budget,” Katie says.
“It’s more environmentally friendly,” Katy adds. “Flowers don’t last.
“Plants last a lifetime.”


The duo says their business is a labour of love and one that extends to their family.
“Every single member of our family helps in some way,” says Katie.
Even Olive likes to potter around the garden, watering plants.
“We’re fortunate to have such supportive families – and retired dads,” Katy laughs.
The pair, who are both in their 30s, love working so closely together.
“All we do is laugh,” Katy says. “It’s so much fun, and we balance each other out.
“We’ve turned into crazy plant ladies!”
A beautiful array of plants sit in and around the Barwon Heads potting shed. Picture Jay Town.
The pair work from their potting shed, a quaint little white shed built at the back of Katie’s Barwon Heads home.
It is full to the brim. Hanging from the ceiling, lining the walls, packing out shelves, there is greenery of all kinds everywhere. The business partners admit the shelves should have been built bigger.
This is where the magic happens, where the plants are planted and nurtured and where the women put together their custom designs for clients.
“We’re in the business of making people happy,” Katie says.

Email Olive Green Plant and Prop on hello@olive-green.net for more information.